Is there a relationship between Life Span and GDP per capita?


life expectancy and personal wealth

Empirical research suggests a strong correlation between . However this relationship is not linear as shown in the graph and the table below, because people consume both needs and wants.  People consume needs in order to survive.  Once a person’s needs are satisfied, they could then spend the rest of their money on non-necessities.  If everyone’s needs are satisfied, then any increase in GDP per capita would barely affect life expectancy.

Government Intervention

Government intervention also plays a key role in this. A nation could be rich, but if its government ignores the plight of the poor, it could lower the life expectancy.  Some poor nations have high life expectancies because their governments’ strongly prioritize needs over wants. Cuba is a good example of this. The Cuban government has a strong social support network that provides health coverage, government pensions and economic support to poor families. Despite having a very low GDP per capita (largely due to US economic blockade), the life expectancy in Cuba is close to 77 years, not much lower than the life expectancy is developed nations.

 

Another reason for the wide variation in the life expectancy for countries with low GDP per capita would be due to the level of non-market economic activity.

For example, if there is a lot of farming activity, people could be working and have enough food to eat, but wouldn’t be contributing much to the nation’s GDP because they wouldn’t be buying the food they eat, or selling the food they grow i.e. no exchange of money.

Chart depicting GDP per Capita in various different countries.

GDP Per Capita

GDP Per Capita

GDP Per Capita

1

QATAR

103,500

65

ROMANIA

12,200

129

KIRIBATI

3,200

2

LUXEMBOURG

81,100

66

URUGUAY

12,200

130

MONGOLIA

3,200

3

KUWAIT

57,400

67

MAURITIUS

12,100

131

NICARAGUA

2,900

4

NORWAY

55,200

68

TURKEY

12,000

132

INDIA

2,800

5

BRUNEI

53,100

69

BELARUS

11,800

133

VIET NAM

2,800

6

SINGAPORE

52,000

70

COSTA RICA

11,600

134

PAKISTAN

2,600

7

UNITED STATES

47,000

71

PANAMA

11,600

135

UZBEKISTAN

2,600

8

IRELAND

46,200

72

KAZAKHSTAN

11,500

136

MOLDOVA

2,500

9

SWITZERLAND

40,900

73

SAINT LUCIA

11,300

137

MARSHALL ISL.

2,500

10

NETHERLANDS

40,300

74

LEBANON

11,100

138

YEMEN

2,400

11

ARAB EMIRATES

40,000

75

SERBIA/MONTEN

10,900

139

TIMOR-LESTE

2,400

12

ICELAND

39,900

76

SAINT VINCENT

10,500

140

NIGERIA

2,300

13

CANADA

39,300

77

BRAZIL

10,100

141

CAMEROON

2,300

14

AUSTRIA

39,200

78

SOUTH AFRICA

10,000

142

NEW GUINEA

2,200

15

SWEDEN

38,500

79

DOMINICA

9,900

143

SUDAN

2,200

16

AUSTRALIA

38,100

80

CUBA

9,500

144

MICRONESIA

2,200

17

BELGIUM

37,500

81

COOK ISLANDS

9,100

145

TAJIKISTAN

2,100

18

DENMARK

37,400

82

AZERBAIJAN

9,000

146

KYRGYZSTAN

2,100

19

BAHRAIN

37,200

83

COLOMBIA

8,900

147

LAOS

2,100

20

FINLAND

37,200

84

SURINAME

8,900

148

MAURITANIA

2,100

21

UNITED KINGDOM

36,600

85

ANGOLA

8,800

149

CAMBODIA

2,000

22

GERMANY

34,800

86

BELIZE

8,600

150

SOLOMON ISL.

1,900

23

SPAIN

34,600

87

THAILAND

8,500

151

COTE D IVOIRE

1,700

24

JAPAN

34,200

88

PERU

8,400

152

NORTH KOREA

1,700

25

FRANCE

32,700

89

DOMINICAN REP

8,100

153

SENEGAL

1,600

26

GREECE

32,000

90

PALAU

8,100

154

CHAD

1,600

27

EQU. GUINEA

31,400

91

TUNISIA

7,900

155

LESOTHO

1,600

28

ITALY

31,000

92

ECUADOR

7,500

156

KENYA

1,600

29

MADAGASCAR

30,000

93

JAMAICA

7,400

157

TUVALU

1,600

30

SLOVENIA

29,500

94

ALGERIA

7,000

158

BENIN

1,500

31

BAHAMAS

28,600

95

UKRAINE

6,900

159

ZAMBIA

1,500

32

CYPRUS

28,600

96

BOSNIA/HERZEG

6,500

160

GHANA

1,500

33

ISRAEL

28,200

97

ARMENIA

6,400

161

BANGLADESH

1,500

34

NEW ZEALAND

27,900

98

EL SALVADOR

6,200

162

TANZANIA

1,300

35

CZECH REPUBLIC

26,100

99

TURKMENISTAN

6,100

163

HAITI

1,300

36

SOUTH KOREA

26,000

100

ALBANIA

6,000

164

SAO TOME

1,300

37

MALTA

24,200

101

CHINA

6,000

165

GAMBIA

1,300

38

PORTUGAL

22,000

102

NIUE

5,800

166

MALI

1,200

39

SLOVAKIA

21,900

103

BHUTAN

5,600

167

BURKINA FASO

1,200

40

ESTONIA

21,200

104

NAMIBIA

5,400

168

MYANMAR

1,200

41

SAUDI ARABIA

20,700

105

EGYPT

5,400

169

GUINEA

1,100

42

OMAN

20,200

106

GUATEMALA

5,200

170

NEPAL

1,100

43

HUNGARY

19,800

107

SWAZILAND

5,100

171

UGANDA

1,100

44

ST. KITTS

19,700

108

NAURU

5,000

172

COMOROS

1,000

45

BARBADOS

19,300

109

MALDIVES

5,000

173

TOGO

900

46

ANTIGUA/BAR.

19,000

110

JORDAN

5,000

174

RWANDA

900

47

TRINIDAD/TOB.

18,600

111

SAMOA

4,900

175

MOZAMBIQUE

900

48

LATVIA

17,800

112

SYRIA

4,800

176

MALAWI

800

49

LITHUANIA

17,700

113

GEORGIA

4,700

177

AFGHANISTAN

800

50

POLAND

17,300

114

VANUATU

4,600

178

ETHIOPIA

800

51

SEYCHELLES

17,000

115

TONGA

4,600

179

CENTRAL AFRICA

700

52

CROATIA

16,100

116

BOLIVIA

4,500

180

ERITREA

700

53

RUSSIA

15,800

117

HONDURAS

4,400

181

NIGER

700

54

MALAYSIA

15,300

118

SRI LANKA

4,300

182

SIERRA LEONE

700

55

CHILE

14,900

119

PARAGUAY

4,200

183

SOMALIA

600

56

LIBYA

14,400

120

IRAQ

4,000

184

GUINEA-BISSAU

600

57

GABON

14,400

121

MOROCCO

4,000

185

LIBERIA

500

58

MEXICO

14,200

122

CONGO

4,000

186

BURUNDI

400

59

ARGENTINA

14,200

123

GUYANA

3,900

187

REP OF CONGO

300

60

VENEZUELA

13,500

124

FIJI

3,900

188

ZIMBABWE

200

61

GRENADA

13,400

125

INDONESIA

3,900

 

 

62

BOTSWANA

13,300

126

CAPE VERDE

3,800

 

 

63

BULGARIA

12,900

127

DJIBOUTI

3,700

 

 

64

IRAN

12,800

128

PHILIPPINES

3,300

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Charmie May 12, 2014
  2. Muhammed March 9, 2017

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